Hopefully by now you’ve taken my advice and have read the Psalms you wish to pray through today! Otherwise, you might find it difficult to pray through a text you’re not familiar with.
First things first, what Psalms should you read/pray through today? You could just flip through the Psalms and choose five random ones. Or, and I highly recommend this route, you could look at your calendar, notice it is March 5th, and your first Psalm would be Psalm 5. That means your five Psalms would look like this:
1. Psalm 5
2. Psalm 35
3. Psalm 65
4. Psalm 95
5. Psalm 125
I suggest that you read one Psalm and then pray through that Psalm before moving on to the next Psalm. This way, the text is fresh in your mind.
Let me show you an example of how I go about doing this. I’ll use Psalm 65.
Read Psalm 65
Psalm 65 (ESV)
65 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. A Song.
1 Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion,
and to you shall vows be performed.
2 O you who hear prayer,
to you shall all flesh come.
3 When iniquities prevail against me,
you atone for our transgressions.
4 Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,
to dwell in your courts!
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
the holiness of your temple!
Begin to pray through the Psalm going phrase by phrase keeping the psalmist’s train of thought together (this might mean literally praying line by line, or up to several verses at a time).
Here is how I’d begin praying through some of the verses in this Psalm.
O God in Zion,
All praise is due to You. There is no god besides You. There is no one else worthy of the praise due to Your holy name. For You are the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of all things.
Notice, I took the first line of verse 1 and turned it into the introduction of my prayer.
Today, I will perform my vows to You. You have called me out of darkness and into Your glorious light! My life is Yours, O God, and I will live according to Your Word. You are worthy not only of my praise, but of my obedience. Take my life, O Lord, and let it be consecrated unto You.
Again, notice I only took the second line of the Psalm and made them personal.
Father, I come to you now with my requests, my anxieties, my pain, my sorrows, my desires, my thanksgiving, my adoration, because You are a God who hears. You hear the prayers of Your children and as a good Father, You listen and will even answer Your child’s requests.
When sin prevails over me, and if I am honest, it has far too many times, do not look at me as you do the wicked. Heavenly Father, look at the work of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to atone for my transgressions. He who knew no sin, became sin for me, so that I might become the righteousness of God. It is Christ’s atonement for my sins that I boast in. And when sin would have its way with me, strengthen me by Your Spirit to withstand the schemes of the Evil One.
Draw me nearer to Your blessed side, O my God! Bless me with those spiritual blessings from the heavenlies that you have promised each of Your children in Christ. I long to be satisfied with the goodness of Your house! Your temple is filled with Your holiness. Quench my thirst. Feed me with the Bread of Life, that I would be truly satisfied. I have been searching far and wide for satisfaction, but nothing I find compares to the eternal pleasures I find in You!
And on and on I could go through each line, verse, and thought of the psalmist. The beauty of this process, I have found, is that I don’t have to pray through an entire Psalm if I don’t want to. As you can see from above, I only prayed through 4 verses, but there is so much I could say just from those 4 verses! Depending on your time restrictions, you might not be able to make it through the 13 verses in Psalm 65. Don’t beat yourself up if you only make it through verse 3 or verse 8! You have four other Psalms to read/pray through! Do what you’re comfortable with and are able to do.4
Allow me to offer another piece of advice. It is far too easy to pray only for yourself as you pray through the Psalms. Remember to pray for others! Whether it is a family member, a friend, a person at church, a missionary, or a random person you meet at McDonald’s, remember to pray for others.
I’ll show you an example of this in the next post! Until then, read the Psalms and begin to pray through them line by line, thought by thought! I promise it can transform your prayer life.